AN estimated 16,000 girls dropped out of school in 2014 on account of teenage pregnancies and adolescent marriages.
Education Minister Michael Kaingu says 13,200 cases were recorded at primary school level and the rest at secondary school level.
Dr Kaingu said the development was more prevalent in rural areas.
The minister said this on Sunday evening when he featured on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)’s Sunday Interview programme.
Dr Kaingu said the scourge had worsened poverty levels, especially among the girl-children who were vulnerable with no brighter future without proper education.
“This is something that is of grave concern because it is defeating the whole purpose of educating the girl-child. It calls for urgent collaboration to arrest and Government efforts in this regard must be supplemented by the private sector,” he said.
Dr Kaingu also said Zambia had attained the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number two on the provision of universal primary education.
Dr Kaingu said the achievement was worthwhile for the country and would be a motivating factor for teachers in the quest to deliver quality education to Zambians.
The Government had procured 75 computers for each province to boost Information Communication Technology (ICT) lessons in public schools.
He said the equipment would be distributed equally to schools and called for support from the private sector.
“The introduction of ICT in the school curriculum is in line with the new trend of digitisation. Everything is being done online and we do not want our people to lag behind,” Dr Kaingu said.
He said the Government was also pursuing Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) in the area of tertiary education to ease the financial challenges that had engulfed public colleges and universities.
The University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University were some of the institutions funded by the Government on an annual basis.